Dillon O’Brien

Life
1817-1882; b. Co. Roscommon; emig. USA, working as teacher among native Indians before settling in St. Paul, Minnesota; novels printed at St. Paul, Minnesota, incl. The Dalys of Dalystown (1866), the tale of Henry Daly and his relations with the Anglo-Irish Browns, the set predominantly in Ireland with an American interlude and vindicating Catholic respectability; Frank Blake (1876) descriptive of Irish-American communities; also “Widow Melville’s Boarding House”, a short novel, first ser. in The Irish Monthly (Vol. 9 1881) and afterward printed in book-form at St. Paul (1881); “Dead Broke” (Irish Monthly, Vol. 10, 1882), shows the Church militant in opposition to ‘the mystifying evolutions of modern philosophy’ [Brown]. IF DIW

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Works
The Dalys of Dalystown (St. Paul, MN: The Pioneer Printing Co. 1866), 518pp. ; Dead Broke: A Western Tale (Saint Paul, MN: Pioneer Printing Co. 1873), 193pp.; Frank Blake (St. Paul, MN: Pioneer Printing Co. 1876), 270pp.; Widow Melville's Boarding House (St. Paul, MN: The Pioneer Press Print 1881), [11]-64pp. [For microfilm & digital edns., see infra.]

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Bibliographical details
Microfilm & Digitised editions: The Dalys of Dalystown (1886), Dead Broke (1873) and Frank Blake (1876) variously available on microfilm [Wright American fiction, 1851-1875], and in digitised form at Indiana University Digital Library Program for the Committee on Institutional Cooperation [c.2001] [online].

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Criticism
Thomas Dillon O'Brien, Dillon O'Brien: A Minnesota Pioneer (St Paul: Minnesota Historical Society 1933) [photocopy held in BL].

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Commentary
James H. Murphy, Catholic Fiction and Social Reality in Ireland, 1873-1922 (Conn: Greenwood Press 1997) [Part I: ‘Upper Middle-Class Fiction 1873-1890’], p.19-20: writes of Dalys of Dalystown (1866), a tale of Henry Daly and his feud with the Anglo-Irish Browns, amicably settled after a duel in which Brown loses his hand; contains a Fenian subplot in which Bryan Larkin is set to kill the middleman O’Roarke by Ribbonman Maloney, though actually at the behest of the scheming govt.; quotes: ‘It would seem impossible to prove any connection between the Lord Lieutenant in Dublin Castle and such a ruffian as Maloney in this country; but connections between villains of his stamp and the police have been frequently proved and exposed and the Castle of Dublin and police barracks of Ireland sand in very close relationship to each other.’ (Dalys [...], &c., St. Paul, MN: Pioneer Printing 1866, p.268; here pp.19-20.). Also quotes the char. Brown on the Ribbonmen: ‘cowardly assassins whose religion teaches them that murder is justifiable and whose priests are ever ready to absolve them of their crime.’ (ibid., p.91; here p.42).

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References
Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction: A Guide to Irish Novels, Tales, Romances and Folklore [Pt. I] (Dublin: Maunsel 1919), lists The Dalys of Dalystown (St. Paul: Pioneer Printing 1866) [old Catholic family saved by son who goes to USA]; also, Frank Blake (1876) [a friend is saved from false accusation of murder of Hon. Robert Eyre in Galway; full of Bodkins, Lynches, Joyces, and other Galway families]. “Widow Melville’s Boarding House“, short novel, ser. in The Irish Monthly (Vol. 9 1881).

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Notes
Errata: Title, “Widow Lemville’s [sic?] Boarding House”, a short novel serialised in The Irish Monthly (Vol. 9, 1881) is cited in ?Stephen Brown, as supra.

Dead Broke (St. Paul 1873) was subsequently printed in serial form in the Irish Monthly [se Brown, supra.]:

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